IRS Turns Out to Be Big Bureaucracy, Not Terrorist Organization

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Let’s check in on the latest in Obama administration tyranny and lawlessness. Hum de hum — oh, hey, look what’s buried on page A12 of my LA Times this morning. The Justice Department has finished its investigation into Lois Lerner and her reign of terror at the IRS against hardworking conservative activist groups:

Assistant Atty. Gen. Peter J. Kadzik, who is in charge of congressional relations, told House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that “we are closing our investigation and will not seek any criminal charges.”

….“Not a single IRS employee reported any allegation, concern or suspicion that the handling of tax-exempt applications — or any other IRS function — was motivated by political bias, discriminatory intent, or corruption,” Kadzik said.

He said Justice had specifically absolved Lerner, who resigned over the allegations, of criminal liability, and found in fact that she was the first official to recognize the problem and to try and correct it.

Kadzik said that their investigation found evidence of mismanagement and institutional inertia, “But poor management is not a crime.” I guess that’s what they call this kind of organized oppression in Obama’s America.

Anyway, I urge everyone to consider this outcome when thinking about Hillary Clinton’s email server. Both are “scandals” pushed relentlessly by a right wing that’s infuriated over everything related to the Obama administration. Both had some surface plausibility. And both were kind of sexy.

But as usual with these kinds of things—Solyndra, Fast & Furious, Benghazi, Sharyl Attkisson’s computer, etc. etc.—there’s really nothing there. Sometimes some bad judgment, sometimes not even that. The fact that Republicans are outraged and have large megaphones to spread that outrage doesn’t change this and doesn’t justify 24/7 news coverage. So maybe a more temperate approach to these endlessly manufactured right-wing outrages would be appropriate. Just a thought.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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